Do It Yourself Tasks


It is popular, but not always advisable to install your own flooring. Regular gauged ceramic tile can be set to a fairly high standard if an ownerbuilder attends a seminar at a local home improvement warehouse. On the other hand, if they plan to set a travertine or marble tile, it is not wise. These natural stone products required a deep bed of thinset and exacting skill. An unskilled, unexperienced installer will almost certainly end up setting an uneven floor. Seek a professional.

Traditional carpet is not as complicated to install but is unwieldy and difficult to get tight. There are new products, however, designed specifically to help that do-it-yourselfer install carpet on their project. One in particular, is called carpet tile. Designed to be set like a a guaged tile, it has adhesive preset on the back of each piece. Simply layout your project, peel each piece and set it tight next to the previous carpet tile. Owner builders are eager to include do it yourself tasks on their project. Throughout the website we have peppered, “ manage the process” over and over. We discourage taking on trade contractor duties at every turn. However, there are some things, come finish time, that an owner builder CAN do on their own, get some satisfaction from and save some bucks in the process.

Custom Closets

Custom closets are basically paint by number, prefabricated drawer boxes and shelves. It takes a little know how to put in but not much. First, the major hardware stores have custom closet products to purchase, they may even include a closet layout.

Because it is not a required item or structural, the owner builder can even wait till after final inspections to install the closets.

If you know early on this is a direction you plan to go, the closet shelving bid can be eliminated for those closets you wish to customize. This , in turn, should reduce the paint bid a little, as well, since the painter can spray the closet without taping off shelves.

The tools you will need are:

A Cordless Drill ,Level,Laser level, Tape measure, Pencil, and a Phillips Screwdriver

Because you have waited till the end, taking a day or two to finish the custom closets should not interfere with your management duties.

Be sure to have drywall anchors on hand.

Installing the custom closets yourself is by no means your only option. If DIY isn’t your bag, there are many licensed, reputable custom closet specialists that will measure and bid your job.

Builder Bill DIY

Check out Builder Bill for all things Do-It-Yourself.


Setting pavers is another do it yourself job that can be done by the owner builder after all inspections and approvals are complete. Little landscape accents like pavers enhance the beauty and resale value of the home.
Don’t forget to include the projected costs of these items in the preliminary job costing and treat them as bids. If you don’t think you can do it for significantly less than a professional, go with the pro.

Other DIY

There are more areas of construction during and after the owner builder project. If you choose to take on a do it yourself task, you should always be armed with the best information.

Builder Bill Do It Yourself Help

Our friend Bill at has decades of building experience. His site is an excellent resource for all types of do it yourself projects. Tile, flatwork, landscaping, trim carpentry, and framing are all items that owner builders sometimes elect to do themselves. We would caution, the more DIY you choose to do on your project, the less time you have to manage the process. Being an effective project manager is a full time job. Choose your do it yourself tasks carefully.

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